Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Catch Up Underground, Part 1

It's colorful, danceable, underground, and unfortunately cut back to a monthly event, for the summer. It's Club Q, downstairs in the Elks Club. Tiny has been producing this alternative venue for over two years, and it has developed into an entertaining night spot for those who like to leave the beaten path.

Down in the basement of an activist household is another underground scene which has been a dependable provider of Off-the-Beaten-Path bands for some time. This night, it was the Taxpayers, who claimed to be an acapella cover band and started that way, before swinging into some of the most original material this side of Jupiter.

Beef Curtain at the Palace. Another underground band in another underground venue.

The father is introducing me to his daughter, when she interrupts, saying, "Hey, you were at the Beefcurtain show. I see you everywhere." Although I can't be everywhere, I do sometimes try, and then a day or two of recovery is required.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Catch Up Caras

Right up there in the corner, it says I'm old and slow. I haven't covered The Downtown Association's splendid summer series for two weeks. Mark your calendars for Out to Lunch, every Wednesday, 11a-2p, and Downtown Tonight, every Thursday, 5:30-8:30p.

Now let's do the timeslip to Wednesday week and catch up four events.

Full Moon Prophets Out to Lunch

Jazzy oldies you can sing along with played in clean, hard rocking style with an emphasis on bass.

The emphasis on bass is my friend, Teri Llovet. She sings a Cheryl Crowe song that gives me goose bumps.

Bob Wire & Magnificent Bastards Downtown Tonight

Bob Wire was cooking at Downtown Tonight. Only lining the tent with foil could make this venue tougher on Thursday nights. Week after week, brave performers face this trial. Poor Bob's plump turkey thermometer was about to pop. Bob still poured his heart into his "extreme honky-tonk," until the timer went off, and then he ran for the shade and a cold brew.

This is the new proprietor of the Celtic Connection, and I can't spell her name in Irish to save my ass, but it's pronounced Keeva. I'm not sure whether she was telling me to take a picture, or telling me to stuff my camera. She's a delightful woman, and the revival of the Connection has already started.

RMSP photography students showed up in large numbers to shoot the event. It looked like superbowl with all those fancy cameras and lenses waving along the sidelines.

Secret Powers Out to Lunch

Secret Powers is usally fronted by Schmed on the keyboard (above), but they switched up a bit at Out to Lunch. This may be the most professional combo in town, with their technical expertise and polished performances.

Clumsy Lovers Downtown Tonight

The Clumsy Lovers are visitors from Vancouver, B.C. who play zootown two or three times a year. Their music is kicky stuff with a lot of influences, including Celtic, folk and bluegrass. They have several cds, stickers and t-shirts to choose from at their merchandise table. Also Celtic Connection will join the local merchants who sell the cds.

If you have not attended one of these events, shame on you. They live up to the old ad line "fun for the whole family."

There are more images on the flickr archive, although I am trying to cut back on how many I post. The 5000 images over there are overwhelming. There are also older sets of all the bands featured in this post.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pig Roast 2009

This fellow doesn't look like he had nearly as good a time as I did at the Old Post's annual Pig Roast. I had a great time. There was a lot to like, starting with the low $3 entry fee, a bargain for hours of some of the best music in zootown. Two whole pigs were cooked and a plate with all the trimmings was $7.50, a very decent price.

My plan was to shoot everything happening in zootown on Saturday, but I made it to the pig roast and no further.

Commander Cody was up front on the big drums, as usual, when Reverend Slanky opened the music at 4, on Saturday afternoon. They funked it up, romped and stomped for about three hours.

One of zootown's favorite street vendors, gave the event a top rating.

And the dancing began, first with the children, later with everyone.

The light was problematic in many ways, but it allowed for some interesting looks. I like the mix of silhouettes and lighted areas.

I've photographed Zeppo many times, and praised their musical chops. They were up second at the pig roast. Although I've included their images here and on flickr, I've never introduced two recent additions to the combo. Noby is on the tenor sax, and Norman is playing bass, behind Ruthie and Chuck.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday Interlude and Sermon

Steinbeck wrote a book titled Moveable Feast, and I thought of it, as I provided a feast for the mosquitoes out at Fort Missoula. I was there before dawn one morning to photograph the iris garden. There must be over 200 varieties, a bounty for any flower lover. If you go out there, don't forget your citronella oil. If you go to shoot the iris, take some scissors or hand pruners to nip off dead blooms to clean up your frame.

The sermon for this lord's day comes from the trial of the Grace CEOs. I will not revisit or argue the verdict, but I will point out the common truth once more shown by it. As the world now stands, corporate profits are more important than human lives. People are being murdered everywhere to guarantee American corporations continue to stack up profits.

The bottom line dictated the invasion of Iraq, and it paid off well for the people who invested in it. Cheney and Halliburton made tons of money, as did several other big companies and the rich people who controlled them. A million dead meant more weapons sold, more profits, higher stock returns, and a huge victory for the free market. It is only one example of native people being killed to make the oil beneath their lands available for American industry to suck up.

The republic is dead; we are empire, the largest and mightiest the earth has ever seen. So has it been since the beginning of human history: empires rise and fall. Read Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. It is a blue-print of where we stand and where we are going. The decline has already begun, our government is corrupt to the core, we are constantly fighting someone somewhere, mercenaries are doing more of the fighting and the rich get away with murder.

Our religious leaders are the same Pharisees and hypocrites Jesus dealt with in his time. They are greedy, lying tools of men who would rule the world. That's the reason church and state should be separated, because the leaders corrupt each other. Serving your religion requires serving your government, while the government makes superstition rather than reason the law of the land. They make a good team for controlling the masses...and making themselves rich.

Thus, we have people labeling themselves pro-life who will do anything to preserve zygotes, a handful of mindless dividing cells, claiming human life begins at conception, while ignoring the murder of real, thinking, feeling humans worldwide. Does that make sense?

We want the whole world to give us their natural resources, sacrifice their cultures and eat McDonalds, drink Coke or Pespsi, wear Nikes and Levis, watch our movies, buy our music, worship our god, believe our superstitions. Sometimes we kill them for refusing our generous offers.

Aren't those iris something. They were my mother's favorite flower and I inherited her collection, when she died. I doubled the size of the iris beds, over the next four years. That is one thing I do miss from Arkansas. There's a bunch out at Fort Missoula. Go see them before they are gone.